T2 News

Senate Amendments to Energy Bill Have T2 Focus

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This week the Senate expects to vote on the Energy Policy Modernization Act. Two new amendments to this bill, approved last week, could have big impacts on technology transfer.

One amendment, cosponsored by a bipartisan group of senators, is designed to promote the development of nuclear technologies by increasing collaboration among private industry, universities, and national laboratories.

According to a statement from one of the senators who introduced the amendment, Mark Kirk (R-IL), "This measure will support research and development of the next generation of nuclear energy at national labs, like Illinois' Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont. Argonne leads the nation in innovation and development of new nuclear technologies, and collaborates with more than 600 companies, agencies and institutions around the world."

The other amendment, proposed by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), will boost energy science and technology research by increasing funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E), providing $147 million over 5 years.

ARPA-E's initial funding led to millions in follow-on funding from the private sector, the creation of many startups and spinoffs, and a range of government and industry partnerships. Sen. Schatz's goal in introducing this amendment is to increase ARPA-E's capacity to boost American global competitiveness in energy technology.

“Innovation in advanced energy technologies can be a significant part of the solution to any number of challenges—climate change, increasing the reliability of our grid, lowering electricity rates, hardening our energy infrastructure against cyber attacks, and many others,” said Sen. Schatz in a recent press release. “ARPA-E is helping fund projects at the cutting edge of all of these challenges, and more.”

The Senate votes this week on the entire act. We'll keep you posted!

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